Thursday, February 10, 2011

Imagery in "Imaginary Homelands"

Imagery is one of a writer’s greatest tools. Authors paint pictures for us by weaving certain words together, creating beauty on paper. These images allow us to literally see what the writer is saying, whether he/she is making a point or describing a scene. Rushdie does the same by using imagery in his essay “Imaginary Homelands”.

Rushdie’s use of imagery was effective in his piece “Imaginary Homelands”. He writes a non-fiction work, yet incorporates beautiful images that both engaged me and helped me understand his points. In the second paragraph alone, Rushdie gives us this picture as he stands outside of his old home: “The colours of my history had seeped out of my mind’s eye; now my other two eyes were assaulted by colours, by the vividness of the red tiles, the yellow-edged green of cactus-leaves…” (9). The writer is describing to us (in great detail) his homecoming experience, the first in quite a long time. Since the photograph of his house was taken in black and white, Rushdie explains that he began to remember his childhood in the same black and white tones; yet, upon revisiting his house, the bright colors of his past came flooding to the front of his mind. Because of this experience, Rushdie admits that, in order to “restore the past”, his “novel Midnight Children was born” (9-10). It’s amazing how a story can begin by remembering the past, and Rushdie portrays how his book was brought to life through the use of imagery.

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